• Tue. Jun 25th, 2024

Echo in the Canyon – A Look at Folk Rock’s Birth… and a Modern Tribute!

This film was not screened for critics in the Las Vegas Valley.

Echo in the Canyon (hereafter simply referred to as “Echo”) is directed by Andrew Slater. The film stars Lou Adler, Fiona Apple, The Beach Boys, Beck, Justine Bennett, Jackson Browne, Buffalo Springfield, The Byrds, Jade Castrinos, Eric Clapton, David Crosby, Jakob Dylan, Norah Jones, and Michelle Phillips. The film premiered at the LA Film Festival in September 2018, and has gotten sporadic limited theatrical reviews from May 2019 onward.

Jakob Dylan, son of legendary folk rocker Bob Dylan, interviews many of the legends from the folk rock movement in California in the 1960s, and unites with some of the modern day’s most iconic pop stars to re-record many of the classic hits from the era. The movie investigates the origins of the music, as well as featuring a 2015 concert in which the musicians gathered to perform these songs live.

Echo is a fantastic documentary any fan of these musicians will enjoy. In addition to seeing the classic era in which these songs and styles of music came to life, the movie also impresses with its contemporary footage of today’s top musicians paying homage to the sounds they love which influenced them. There’s a solid cast of performers and talent from yesterday and today alike.

In terms of the “past” portion of the documentary (it jumps back and forth between past and present throughout its duration) there is plenty archival footage including television and concert content, and rare photographs. Seeing these is a revelation (it’s not clear how much of this footage was previously unreleased, if any).

The “present” portions are nearly as impressive, with their combination of the musicians of today gathered to pay tribute to their own folk rock heroes. Curiously Jacob Dylan’s iconic father does not take part in the documentary, but the sheer number of people assembled here to pay tribute to the work of the past is worth the price of admission alone. Honestly, I wasn’t familiar with some of the newer artists featured here, and some I knew only on a “by name” basis. But it’s a great homage and tribute in addition to being a history lesson.

Admittedly, the doc is a but uneven at times, and can’t quite seem to decide what it wants to do. The past and present portions alike are both interesting and entertaining, but it makes me wonder if this would’ve worked better as two separate movies.

For what it is, Echo will satisfy its target audience. There are some fantastic moments, both exploring the history of classic bands, and seeing contemporary artists pay tribute to their music heroes. Fans of these artists/the music/etc. won’t be disappointed.

Rating: Three stars out of four.

DISCLAIMER: All images in this review are the property of their respective owners, including Greenwich Entertainment and Mirror Films. For promotional use only. All rights reserved.

By Taylor T Carlson

Taylor T Carlson Assistant Editor/Senior Staff Writer Taylor T. Carlson was born August 17, 1984, and has called the Vegas Valley home his entire life. A die-hard fan of classic rock and metal music, Taylor has been writing album and concert reviews since he was 16 years old, and continues to do so, having done well over 1,000 reviews. He is also a fan of video gaming and cinema, and has reviewed a number of games and films as well, old and new alike. His thorough and honest (some would say brutally honest) reviewing style has won him the respect of hundreds of music fans and musicians alike, both local and abroad, and the ire of just as many others. Despite being one of the youngest attendees at classic hard rock/metal shows around Vegas, he is also one of the most knowledgeable, having gained the unofficial nickname of “The Eddie Trunk of Las Vegas.” In addition to reviews, Taylor has written and self-published three books on classic hard rock bands, and is a regular participant in rock and roll trivia contests. Taylor also holds a masters degree in special education from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), and has appeared on the hit History Channel television series Pawn Stars. His dream is to be able to one day make a living from writing music books and reviews.

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